Users of the Windows Vista operating system have been receiving warning messages from Microsoft for a while, but the clock is ticking down fast with just a few weeks to go: on April 11, Microsoft’s extended support for this operating system will be officially – finally – up.
And yes, before you even say it, there are people still using Windows Vista… though not many.
Microsoft’s last update for the operating system was back in 2007, and the company ended mainstream support for the operating system in April 2012. At that time, Vista’s market share was a little under 10% of all operating systems according to NetMarketShare, and rests at a hair under 1% today. In comparison, Windows XP is still in use with about 8% of desktop users worldwide, especially with healthcare users, even though its extended support was officially pulled in 2014.
Even at its peak, Vista only held about 30% market share, nowhere near the ubiquity of its predecessor Windows XP or its successor Windows 7. Vista was sandwiched between these two operating systems, and often found itself overshadowed by XP’s popularity and longevity in the market: Vista was released more than five years after XP, but Vista’s commercial support was pulled by Microsoft two years before XP’s extended support was up.
Of course, having so many users on outdated and unsupported operating systems poses a major security concern, as these operating systems have numerous, well-known security vulnerabilities but are no longer receiving any kind of support or system patches to fix those issues. Needless to say, users on these unsupported operating systems are a particularly tempting (and easy) target for attackers, which is why we urge you to use an actively supported and updated operating system right away.
If for some reason you remain a Vista holdout despite the April 11, we’d certainly be curious to hear why – let us know in the comments.
33 comments on “Still running Windows Vista? Here’s a wake-up call for you”
Most of the second and third paragraph repeat, looks like an accidental duplication.
Sorry for the garble, and thanks for the heads up: fixed now!
Still on Vista despite it’s constant crashes. Didn’t upgrade because some of my software and peripherals were not supported on Windows 7. Also disappointed that 10 wasn’t offered to us at some kind of discount. Buying new peripherals and software now to make a change. A bit scary after all these years…
Hi, Dan! Would you be able to offer more details on the peripherals and software that kept you using Vista? I’d be very interested in any details you may be able to offer.
I like my Vista very much. I understand how to use it and it works perfectly well. I also have a laptop which runs on XP. Work computers are all Win10 as of last year and I hate using it, it is much more tricky to navigate and makes doing the simplest thing take twice as long. Nothing is where I am used to finding it nor works as I am used to. Also very much resent having to replace stuff just because Microsoft want to make more money out of me. Seriously wondering if I might just switch to AppleMac this time 🙁
If you’re going to relearn how to do things anyway the you might as well try Ubuntu Linux.
I’m still using Vista on a 2008 HP Pavilion dv7t laptop. I only use it for internet, using Firefox browser. But since I just got notice FF will discontinue support I’ll have to update. I don’t know if the hardware will support Win10, so looks like I’ll have to get a whole new system. HW: 2.2GHz, 250GB hdd, 3GB DDR2 RAM, 256MB NVIDIA GeForce 9200M GS. Maybe just a tablet will support my needs.
You might be surprised what your dv7t can do. I have an HP dv6t-1100 from 2009 that was shipped with Vista Home Premium 32-bit. I first upgraded it to Windows 7 and it’s now running Windows 10 64-bit. It runs 10 very nicely. The only issues were the Synaptics touch pad and the HP Mobile Data Protection Sensor – accelerometer. The Windows 7 driver provided by HP worked fine for that. There’s a workaround for the touch pad as well.
Frankly, I liked Vista very much. I went from Windows 98 to Vista. I ran Vista on a desktop with a lot of horsepower, a machine with an Intel Core 2 Quad processor. We got along wonderfully. The dv6t struggled with Vista; it has an Intel Core 2 Duo. The dv6t ran Seven wonderfully and Windows 10 seems to consume fewer resources of processor and memory.
Ergonomically, I like the dv6t better than two newer HP 15 computers that I’m charged with. I think it’s a very high quality piece.
That sort of hardware will run many versions of Linux.
Try Lubuntu 16.04 LTS – LTS = Long term (3 year) support to 2019.04 and if it is anything like 10.04, 12.04 and 14.04 the upgrade to 18.04 (in April 2018) will be very straightforward (like a Windows monthly update). Linux updates and upgrades also update your software (like Firefox) at the same time.
Lubuntu has a XP/Windows like “start” button and menus.
(edited to remove link – please don’t post URLs. Thanks)
It will run 10 fine, actually probably better than vista, 10 tends to use less RAM than vista did. That said if you are going to pay $200 ish to upgrade the OS you might be better off just upgrading the whole computer and getting the OEM licence with it.
this is not true! 10 uses a lot of RAM and noticed it has a lot of underground non-stop activity! Freezes sometimes even a new PC!
“If for some reason you remain a Vista holdout despite the April 11, we’d certainly be curious to hear why – let us know in the comments.”
If you were EVER a Vista user, we’d certainly be curious to know why! 😉
Because Windows Vista is the best operating system, that’s why.
I miss the photo editing. It was so good that I could bring a damaged picture back to a halfway decent one. I haven’t seen one that compares.
Non profits working on tight budgets, often don’t take their IT that seriously, or just don’t recognize the risks.
I just received a laptop with a broken power supply jack from my daughter’s company (non profit ngo) to try to fix. When we realized it was Vista we decided just to pull the drive and copy the files, forcing them to upgrade. Definitely not worth repairing.
My kids are on machines that won’t run 7. I can’t afford to replace them, and the kids have games that won’t play on Linux. So Vista it will stay.
I miss using Windows Vista. I loved the new features that came along with it, like user agent control, and Windows Aero effects. Unfortunately my laptop died after 3 years of use, so I had to buy a Windows 7 system. Windows Vista paved the way for Windows 7, which will be the 2nd best version of Windows behind XP. Windows Vista did have its bugs, but so did every newly released version of Windows. I use Mac now and will not look back. Microsoft ruined Windows after 8 was released. Its such a shame.
Changing to new computer and win 10 Monday. Vista has been ok for 10 years, can’t understand all the trashing of this system. Very, very difficult to change on a fixed income. I suspect Microsoft is behind press reports and planned obsolescence. $$$
I’m not on Vista but I am on Win7 and I am going to stay on it forever. The reason is that everything they say about Vista, is the same thing they say about Win7 and Win8 and Win95 and Win3.0 and…has there ever been a Microsoft OS that is no longer a security risk to use without constant patching? Not a one? How sad!
Let me rephrase that: either all that talk about the never ending security patching is just fear mongering, or since there is no Microsoft OS in existence that still doesn’t require constant security monitoring and security updating and security patching, including Win10, that proves that you are just as much at risk with Win10 as you ever were or are with Win3.1 — they are both in the same exact boat! Microsoft wants to promote the idea that they are keeping up with the never ending security loopholes in their still supported OSes, but if you read the fine print, it is only as they are able to find them. You can’t patch something you don’t know about, so when you read Wikileaks about certain government sponsored malware that no anti-malware product has ever protected you against and hasn’t protected you against for up to 20 years or more, all that talk of protection through security patching goes out the window.
Since it apparently become no longer practical for Microsoft to get you to switch OSes every few years in order to make lots of money off of you doing that, they seem to be trying to force you onto the in-your-face adware model behind Win10. Microsoft even no longer allows you to buy MSWord to own as long as you want, you can only rent it for one year before it expires, so I feel that one way or another Microsoft is going to make lots of money off of you, even if they have to scare you to death doing it.
But I’m not going there. I’m switching to ReactOS as soon as it is ready for final release. I can use all my old hardware and old programs with ReactOS, unlike what happens with Windows when you upgrade, and all the latest hardware will be supportable because ReactOS is open source and not closed.
Windows is dead! Long live Windows! Viva la ReactOS!
I agree that Windows Vista is not to be used online. Actually, that should be stated about Microsoft Windows operating systems generally – on desktop, tablet or phone.
I have one computer running Vista in a dual-boot configuration. The primary OS is Ubuntu MATE, but I maintain the Vista partition because of a video transfer program that has Windows-only drivers. I never use the Vista partition online, and I switched off “auto” updating long ago.
Even though I am an advocate of Mac and Linux and have several computers of each kind (and I do not use or own a smartphone) I still believe Windows XP and Vista are useful in running programs on non-connected PCs.
Of course, the average user does not make that distinction, so telling most people to stop using Windows XP and Vista is the responsible thing to do. I have used PCs since 1982, so my view of the internet being a “necessary” part of computing is different from the mainstream. And I am OK with that. 🙂
Vista had a kernel patch update that really helped speed things up to the point of being as good as Windows 7. Since I do a lot of retro computer building, I found Vista to be very compatible with the older duo core and CORE 2 QUAD systems that were designed for Vista and still able to run a lot of current software. Vista got a bad rap when it was released because it needed more processing power and memory than the sluggish XP machines people were upgrading on. But Vista did open the doors to Windows 7, which today is the most popular operating system, almost doubling the number of users of Windows 10. I like Vista and I wish Microsoft would support it for at least another 3 years, like they did with XP.
Wrong. Service Pack 2 came out in 2009. Not 2007. 2007 was the RTM version. Reasons why I would keep Vista: My first own computer had Vista, Many software still runs on Vista today, including GTA 5,etc. More customization than 7, especially 8 and 10. And don’t forget things like Media Center, and Windows Sidebar!
I use my Vista PC mostly for photo, video and recorded tv storage and editing. No photo editing program I’ve ever seen is as good and easy to use as windows photo gallery in Vista and in Vista I can have an absolutely unlimited number of downsized but fully visable windows of photos an/or videos open simultaneously for comparing or working with. Only Vista and XP would do that.
I still have Vista… I never had one problem with it since I’ve bought it in 2009.
It’s only now that I’m starting to be unable to load youtube videos or even log into Facebook, which is becoming critical. I will have to buy a new computer now… I guess I’ll jump straight to Windows 10…
I liked Vista because of its interface. I hate the tiles interface of Windows 8+ ……
And I also have Windows 7 (or 8) at work, and things take forever to load… even for a stupid calculator it can take around 10 seconds. But maybe it’s just their hardware idk… I guess Windows 7/8 slows down systems? I like Vista because it’s light.
I’m a teacher and have a really old laptop that runs Vista. It works fine and I only use it for very limited applications (taking attendance in my classroom every morning, or letting a kid use it to type a paper). But my Macbook Pro just broke down and I don’t have the budget for another computer, so out comes the old Vista machine and it works fine. Won’t use it with anything like online shopping, but I can at least get some work done.
still love vista OS, It is better 7 and 8, I use them every day (NOTBANKING) with antivirus, I wish microsft countinued it’s supports.
Guess I’m not much into technology. I don’t understand “computer talk” so much of what I read here in the comments doesn’t make sense to me. I’m still using Vista because, frankly, I can’t afford to keep upgrading my computer especially when there was nothing wrong with it. In addition, I have no idea how to upgrade my computer unless I throw it away and buy a new one. I’m irritated that consumers are FORCED to spend more money just to keep up with technological advances. I was just happy using my computer for facebook, emails, looking at my pictures, or watching an occasional Youtube video. Why can’t they just let some people be content with the simpler technology that they already are familiar with?
I use Vista on an Acer Aspire 5630, bought in 2007. Only trouble I had was that a year or so ago, the laptop was slowing down a lot. After long search it was the windows update service that was eating up my memory. As there where no more updates (!), I stopped the service and all is more or less fine. Just playing video on Netflix, Youtube,.. overheats the processor, I slowed it down and laptop is good for another few years. Microsoft/Intel/computermakers they work together to force people to buy a new one every 4 or 5 years. Rubbish!
I was off the grid when free update was supplied so never got to upgrade vista. now not gonna pay for old laptop to upgrade. running Dell Inspiron 1525.
I would like to use Vista 32-bit SP2 on my Dell Optiplex 755 w/3ghz core 2, 4gb ram, 1gb pcie x16 AMD graphics card w/hdmi. I have been using it. Reasons: Photoshop 1 Essentials (I know but I like it), low disk usage, really easy Movie Maker, Office XP, and lots of other great retro software I have. There’s the Comodo firewall I’ve installed and run on “Paranoid Mode.” I have more ram to use and have the Bodhi Linux (Enlightenment desktop) 64-bit w/Ubuntu 18.04LTS; it’s very stable and beautiful – very fast.
I have found that windows 10, 8. 7, and XP are actually not as user friendly as Windows Vista. It’s always better to have a good anti-virus program (not included with Vista) to keep you safer on the Internet. Microsoft has become more and more interest in the bottom line ($$$$$$) over a quality product. If you lose the ability because of a glitch, bug, program failure (user account settings – unable to access admin rights – np I found the fix) you won’t be able to download new software or upgrade your windows 10 OS. If it gets any more ridiculous with windows I will absolutely be considering Linux or any other open source system (OS) that is available on the internet. Just switch between operating systems and your good to go. Too greedy MS…
I have windows ten on both my old desktop and new laptop. But I also have a Vista installation on the desktop too. Out of all, I still prefer vista. Only offline of course now. But is is still quick, easy to understand and definitely the prettiest.
Is my Vista laptop safe from viruses if I stay OFF the Net? I can’t find a security system for it!! For instance, if I use my 2007 device ONLY for creating WORD documents, am I safe from viruses and hackers?